Actor Joaquin Phoenix is attempting an incredibly difficult maneuver in the entertainment world: he's leaving acting to become a rapper. The actor, whose work in Walk the Line certified him as a bad-ass, announced his retirement from the movie business last year, and since then there have been rumblings of a singing career; word is he's been holed up writing songs for the last few years, and even has a band, Victoria, that performs them — though he doesn't get onstage with them.

Now the Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Phoenix is working to break into the rap world as an MC. It's an incredibly ballsy move that takes courage, guts and a little bit of, er, insanity to pull off; whether it can even actually be done is open to debate, as no one has ever succeeded.

The odd thing about the announcement, though, is that it seems that Phoenix can't really stay away from the camera. He's enlisted his brother-in-law Casey Affleck to film his foray into the world of rhymes for a documentary.

This is dangerous stuff, for sure, and if it were anyone else but Joaquin Phoenix we'd be laughing our ass off. Yes, there is a grin on our face. But it's hard to begrudge anyone for taking a chance such as this. It's more respectable than acting for the paycheck while being miserable inside. (Now, after this thing is released, well, we'll reassess our generosity.)

LA Weekly